Perrysburg teen to receive philanthropy award

From Association of Fundraising Professionals – Northwest Ohio Chapter As a young woman herself, 22-year-old Afreen Alvi is working to help other young women find their leadership gifts through the Women of Toledo organization. In early 2017, Alvi participated in a strategy planning and development program to establish the Young Women of Toledo program, which provides coaching and mentoring for women ages 15-26 who have personal and professional development goals. After establishing an operational budget, Alvi leveraged her peer network to create a special fundraising event, selling tickets and securing vendor support that generated $4,250 in support of YWoT programs. One of the first programs Alvi helped develop was a Chat & Chew group for millennial women, a safe place for them to discuss and debate constructively, build social awareness and self-esteem, and inspire each other to take leadership action in their own communities. Thanks to Alvi’s efforts, there are now more than 30 youth and young women participating. Nina Corder, Executive Director of Women of Toledo, nominated Alvi for the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award (Ages 18-23) saying, “Afreen has transformed into a great role model for other youth, and her continued involvement in the Young Women of Toledo program is a tremendous asset to our organization.” Alvi will be recognized at the 30th Annual National Philanthropy Day luncheon on November 9, from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Premier Banquet Hall in Toledo. The annual event is a community celebration of the philanthropic spirit and practice that results when we work together to “Change the World with a Giving Heart.” Space is limited, so those who would like to attend are encouraged to reserve their tickets now. Reservations can be made online at or by calling 330-329-2472. Toledo Community Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor for the 2017 National Philanthropy Day. Other sponsors include Ambassador Sponsor – Toledo Lucas County Public Library; Signature Sponsors – Bowling Green State University, ProMedica Foundations and The University of Toledo; and Supporting Sponsors – The Andersons, Inc., Mercy Health Foundation – Greater Toledo, PNC and The Trust Company.

Under Friday night lights, homecoming crowd cheers on kickoff of BGSU fundraising campaign

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Under the lights Friday night, President Mary Ellen Mazey summoned up her former cheerleader self to whip up support for Bowling Green State University’s comprehensive campaign, “Changing Lives for the World.” Always a booster of the university she leads, Mazey turned her enthusiasm up a notch addressing a Homecoming Weekend crowd gathered to mark the kickoff of the public portion of the $200 million campaign. Mazey said given the good start she envisions the campaign topping the official goal, maybe raising as much as $250 million. Since the campaign was announced in spring, 2014, the university has raised $110 million in “leadership giving.” Now the university is ready to get the public engaged in the effort. The money will be used for facilities, scholarships as well as named professorships and academic programs. Mazey noted that BGSU is one of the very few colleges in Ohio that doesn’t have a named college. She’d like to see two by the time the campaign wraps up in 2020. Mazey said she and many others in attendance benefited from scholarships when they were students, and now it is time to return the favor. Two students who have benefited from those scholarships testified to their importance. Meg Burrell, former student representative on the Board of Trustees, talked about how she fell in love with BGSU. She arrived for her tour during “the worst weather,” but the tour went great.  It was her first one, and she felt this augured well for the rest. Yet 14 tours later, “I had not found another BGSU.” Receiving Presidential Leadership Scholar made her decision to become a Falcon easy. When Burrell arrived, she missed early activities on campus because she was working. “I realized this was not the kind of experience I wanted. I knew I was going to take advantage of any opportunity I could.” Though Burrell still worked two part-time jobs, she knew she could take time off for mock trial or other activities because she’d have the resources thanks to donors. Burrell said she looks forward to the time when…

BGSU kick off public phase of $200 million comprehensive camapign

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University will host the premiere of its Changing Lives for the World comprehensive campaign Oct. 13 as part of Homecoming Weekend on Friday, Oct.  from 7 to 9 p.m. in University Hall. The special event will include inspirational stories from students, faculty and alumni who are changing lives for the world; tours of the renovated University Hall and Moseley Hall; and musical entertainment.   Guests will also learn more about the four campaign priorities, which include scholarships to support students in all majors, endowed faculty and staff positions to recruit and retain outstanding educators and coaches, creating state-of-the-art facilities and named academic programs and units. Campaign committee co-chair and 1984 BGSU alumnus Larry Benz will give a welcome, and remarks will be made by BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey, campaign committee member and 1975 alumnus Paul Hooker, political science/pre-law student Meg Burrell and political science student Jauntez Bates. More than $104 million has been raised for this comprehensive campaign, which has a goal of $200 million, as of September 2017. Nearly 14,000 individuals made outright gifts, new pledges, gifts-in-kind and new planned gifts in 2016-17.

Hockey tournament raises funds for Habitat for Humanity

Submitted by HABITAT FOR HUMANITY OF WOOD COUNTY In support of Habitat for Humanity of Wood County, celebrity hockey players and Wood County-area residents competed in the 2nd annual Hockey for Habitat charity ball hockey tournament on September 30. Taking place at Bowling Green City Park, the event raised thousands of dollars to support Habitat for Humanity’s home building and home repair programs. The event featured several celebrity players including Kyle Rogers (Walleye, retired), and Ryan Wichman of WTOL. “Hockey for Habitat is all about mixing mission with fun, and we’re thrilled to be able to present this event once again,” said Mark Ohashi, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Wood County. “Last year, it was a huge success, so we’re looking forward to raising even more money this year.” The tournament weekend kicked off with a celebrity hockey player “draft night” on September 29. At the event, teams were able to select from former professional hockey players to add to their teams. Draft order was based on fundraising totals, with the highest fundraising team awarded the top draft pick. Ryan Wichman of WTOL helped MC the event as well as serving as a celebrity free agent. Hockey fans had an opportunity to meet and greet with the celebrity hockey players in an intimate setting before the Saturday tournament. The Hockey for Habitat tournament featured a number of children’s games, silent auctions, raffles, and food. Dozens of volunteers helped support the event, including the BGSU Alpha Phi Omega chapter, BGSU Habitat for Humanity Chapter, BG Aktion Club members, and members of the BGSU IT Department staff.

Jazz guitar master John Scofield takes wing at BGSU festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jazz guitarist John Scofield is devoted to the art of improvisation, even when he’s presenting a master class. “Improvising to me is as natural as music,” he said at Bowling Green State University Saturday, The headliner for the Orchard Guitar Festival said he was there to answer questions. “I don’t have any teaching system,” Scofield said. “I do talk a lot” Everyone, whether or not they go to music school, is self-taught, he said.  “You have to teach yourself especially jazz. “ Ultimately, the self-described “music nerd” went into music because he liked it. “The more you learn about music, the more you learn it comes out of you, not the instrument.” The doors of Bryan Recital Hall were locked, he said in jest, and no one gets out without asking a question. Scofield said questions could be about anything, and even include “a plug for your band.” He told the first person who posed a question that he could leave now. He didn’t, and none of the other 100 or so attendees did either. For an hour Scofield, 65, talked about the lessons he’s learned in his almost 50 years as a professional musician. “I haven’t had a real job since Arnold Palmer’s Dry Cleaners.” Here was someone those in the audience, at least half of whom were guitarists, had heard on record, both his own, and with legends such as Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, and Charles Mingus. Asked about advice for prospective professionals, he said being able to get along with other musicians was key. “It’s a group effort,” he said. “If you make someone else sound good, they’re going to want to work with you.” He was asked what the most important element for jazz was rhythm, harmony or melody. “Melody that’s the la-la-la?” he responded, before saying unequivocally, “rhythm.” That’s the roots of the music. “Jazz is first of all song and dance,” he said.  “Jazz came from African-Americans playing this way, this different kind of music. They took the same songs and swung them and made American music.” Scofield…

Antrone “Juice” Williams takes a shot at helping kids & raising awareness of stroke dangers

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Five years ago Antrone “Juice” Williams almost died on a basketball court in Maine. He was doing what he loved playing basketball. He was good enough to have played college hoops and semi-pro ball. And then in an instant he was down, just aware enough to know this may be the end. It wasn’t. After he came out of an induced coma, Williams started the long road to recovery. On Sunday Williams (formerly known as Moore) will be back on the court again. He’s not playing for fame or glory, but to help raise awareness about stroke disease and support his efforts to mentor young people. Williams is hosting his second H.O.W. We Hoop! Celebrity Basketball Charitable Game Sunday, Oct. 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Bowling Green Community Center. The game may be for fun, but Williams said that he expects School Superintendent Francis Scruci is intent on avenging a very serious beating by the team led by Williams. Williams said he “scored a few buckets,” but his concern is people may have been going easy on him. He doesn’t want them to. He’s proud that five years after nearly dying he’s able to “hobble” down the court, again playing the game he loves. Sometimes people don’t understand the lasting toll a stroke can take, he said. He lost more than two million brain cells on the way to the hospital on the day he was stricken. His outward appearance can belie the damage that’s  beneath the surface. Still he persists. “It’s all about how you perceive your strengths,” he said. “I want to be here ‘til the Lord calls me home.” The donations collected at the door will go toward helping his charitable organization Team H.O.W. – Helping Others Win – file the paperwork to secure 503C tax exempt status. The organization supports Williams’ youth mentorship through basketball efforts. He’s particularly concerned, he said, about helping the children of single mothers. “When I came back in this world I had a plan to help inspire kids,” he said. Others joining…

BGSU students set sights on breaking Guinness record

The Bowling Green State University Homecoming Student Steering Committee is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest line of toothpaste tubes. The current record, set in China in December 2016, is 3,018 tubes, or 3.22 miles. The committee hopes to collect at least 3,019 standard (3 oz.) tubes of toothpaste by Oct. 5. If this goal is reached, the world record attempt will be recorded on the field in Doyt Perry Stadium following the Homecoming football game Oct. 15. After the official attempt, the toothpaste will be donated to America’s ToothFairy: The National Children’s Oral Health Foundation. As a resource provider, the organization works to increase access to oral health care by supporting nonprofit clinics and community partners delivering education, prevention and treatment services for underserved children. Donations can be dropped off at the Office of Campus Activities, 401 Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Gathering Volumes to host Wishing Day event, Sept.28

From GATHERING VOLUMES BOOKSTORE What is your wish for your community?  In Katherine Applegate’s new book, “Wishtree,” no wish is too small as long as it comes from the heart. Ms. Applegate is the author of Newberry Medal winning “The One and Only Ivan” as well as “Crenshaw” which spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In preparation of the release of “Wishtree” Macmillan Publishing Group is partnering with independent bookstores around the country to host a Nationwide Wishing Day to engage communities and help others. Gathering Volumes Bookstore in Perrysburg will be partnering with Macmillan and hosting a Nationwide Wishing Day event in Perrysburg in partnership with The Promise House Project. The Promise House Projects works to promote and advance the dignity and safety of all housing insecure and homeless youth through barrier free direct service, advocacy, service infrastructure, and housing support. Since 2014, they have led efforts to raise awareness about Youth Homelessness in Northwest Ohio. The event will be from 6 to 7 pm on Thursday, September 28 at Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg.  “Wishtree is about the power of wishes and hope to transform a community, and the importance of helping others,” says Denise Phillips, owner of Gathering Volumes. “The story revolves around and is told by an old oak tree that is in danger of being cut down after being in the community as a Wish Tree for over 200 years.” Many cultures have some sort of Wish Tree as part of their folklore. In the United Kingdom townspeople and tourists would drive coins into Wish Trees as far back as the eighteenth century, believing that they would be granted a wish or cured of an illness once the coin was through the bark. One of the most famous Wish Trees is in Lam Tsuen in Hong Kong, where people travel from all over the world during Chinese New Year to cover its branches in wishes written on paper. New Zealand has a famous Wish Tree in the Rotoma Hills near the Bay of Plenty.  Per legend, a Maori princess hid with her baby in its…

Pizza sales at Black Swamp Fest benefit Humane Society

From WOOD COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY For anyone who enjoys the arts, pizza, and animals there is a perfect opportunity to engage in all three this coming weekend. September 8th – 10th Wood County Humane Society will be running the Pisanello’s Pizza booth at the Black Swamp Arts Festival in downtown Bowling Green, Ohio. All of the proceeds will benefit Wood County Humane Society. The Black Swamp Arts Festival (BSAF) is an annual, top rated event that showcases art and music. There are over 150 booths selected by a juried panel. As with most festivals and fairs food and drink bring the experience full circle. The BSAF focuses on this portion with a food and beer garden. The Pisanello’s Pizza Booth will be in this area located near the center stage. Please join us in this fun event, grab a bit to eat, listen to the live entertainment, and help our animals. The WCHS, located in Bowling Green, Ohio, is a private, non-profit managed admission shelter providing care for homeless and abused pets and investigating cruelty complaints in Wood County. The organization receives no funding from government organizations, The United Way, or national humane organizations, instead relying on earned revenue and the generosity of individual donors and businesses to fund our programs such as Safe Haven and food assistance programs, spay/neuter transport, and educational presentations. The WCHS provides care for hundreds of animals each year—from dogs and cats, to horses, goats, and pocket pets. All animals admitted into our adoption program are housed and cared for as long as it takes to find their fur-ever home. For more information on adopting and/or volunteering, see:

Regional philanthropists to be honored

Submitted by The Association of Fundraising Professionals-Northwest Ohio The Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Northwest Ohio Chapter (AFP-NWO) has announced the eight honorees who will be recognized at the organization’s 30th Annual National Philanthropy Day® (NPD) celebration on November 9. This year’s honorees are: Mercy Health Partners Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist Nominated by: Toledo-Lucas County Public Library Stranahan Foundation Outstanding Foundation Nominated by: Toledo School for the Arts Hart, Inc. Outstanding Media Outlet or Best Nonprofit Media Coverage Nominated by:  ProMedica Foundation Robert & Susan Savage Outstanding Philanthropist Nominated by:  Imagination Station Brad Koller Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Nominated by:  Fields for All Project Dave Gierke Outstanding Fundraising Professional Nominated by:  Rob Koenig Cecelia Hughes Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Ages 5-17 Nominated by: Bittersweet Farms Afreen Alvi Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Ages 18-23 Nominated by:  Women of Toledo The 2017 NPD honorees were chosen from more than 40 nominees by a geographically and generationally diverse panel of judges that included regional professionals, community leaders and past winners. “We’re blessed to live in a region where so many individuals and organizations are committed to fostering and funding causes that improve the quality of life in our local communities,” said Sandra Migani Wall, Ph.D., President of AFP-NWO Chapter. “Congratulations, and thank you, to all the honorees, nominees and unsung heroes who give selflessly of their time, talent and treasure to the important causes that they serve.”

BGSU student Kyle Jumper-Smith organizes Project Feed Thy Neighbor in Detroit

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING  COMMUNICATIONS Hailed as an economic boon for a struggling city, the rapidly progressing revitalization and gentrification of Detroit neighborhoods has had the unintended consequence of leaving many longtime residents feeling left behind and without ready access to food stores and other essential businesses. But Bowling Green State University  junior Kyle Jumper-Smith has not forgotten about his hometown. Inspired by those who have given generously to him, this summer he organized the second Project Feed Thy Neighbor for his neighborhood, the Cass Corridor. It was a day of empowerment providing food, fellowship and positivity. This year’s event fed 422 people through the help of many donors and 76 volunteers who manned grills, served food, greeted attendees and managed the lines. “It wasn’t just about giving out food but also about uplifting people,” said Jumper-Smith, an inclusive early childhood educationmajor and former Student Leadership Assistant (SLA) in the Center for Leadership . “We challenged our volunteers to reach out to talk with people about what was going on and give each person a positive message of empowerment and a hug. We wanted to create a loving space. “This was a great experience to see the BGSU community collaborate with other students from other institutions and promote positivity and love in a community that is being abandoned due to new business ventures,” he said. “We also had people from Michigan State University, Kentucky State University, Grand Valley State University, Morehouse College and my alma mater, Lewis Cass Technical High School.” He dedicated the event to his late grandmother. “She would have wanted me to do something like this,” he said. “I’m in the President’s Leadership Academy and I’m a Thompson Scholar,” Jumper-Smith said. “During the summer program leading up to our first year in college, my cohort was shown a news special about a couple from Detroit, Robert and Ellen Thompson, who presented their employees bonuses for their hard work and dedication to their family-owned asphalt company after they sold their holdings in Thompson-McCully to a company in Ireland. I was so inspired by them and their vision and I got to meet…

Young Africans leaders congregate at BGSU to learn from Ohio & each other

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The future of Africa is at Bowling Green State University. The university is hosting 25 organizers and activists as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The institute hosts 1,000 fellows at institutions across the country. ( A conversation with nine of fellows included men and women from Mauritania and Niger in the northern end of the continent to Zimbabwe near the southern tip. The issues they were concerned with were similarly broad, from helping those caught up in the sex industry, education, and environmentalism. And they said they were finding ways of addressing those issues here in the Northwest Ohio meeting with civic leaders and during outings as close to home as the farmers market and as distant as Columbus and Detroit. Tuesday they toured the Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab and crime scene building. Jon Sprague, the director of the Governor’s Center for the Future of Forensic Science at BGSU, also spoke about the opioid crisis. Yet their greatest source of support and knowledge, they said, was each other. “I think the best art of this program was my colleagues,” said Chibuzor Azuuike, of Nigeria. “Africa has to move forward .So meeting people who are of like-mind, who are very passionate about making an impact back at home, is important. I’ve learned a lot from them, and we hope to partner on projects.” Loice Kapondo, of Zimbabwe, said in the week they’ve been at BGSU “we’ve been sharing stories formally and informally. … Their strategies are easy to adapt to my country because of the similarities.” While Africa is not a homogeneous entity, the sub-Saharan countries do share much. “I think in Africa there’s more that makes us similar than makes us different,” Azuuike said. “Africa is both one and many.” The issues that the fellows are concerned about are many. Aishatu Abubakar-Addullateef is a psychiatrist at a teaching hospital back in Niger. She volunteers to raise awareness of the psychological stresses children face and to train teachers to better deal with that in order “to improve the lives…

Brown Bag Food founder, Amy Holland, honored as Hometown Hero

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Thursday was a good day for the Brown Bag Food Project, an endeavor that is usually the group doing good. At a Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours social, Brown Bag received two checks generated by the ACT BG’s recent Amazing Race fundraiser. The check from ACT BG was for just over $4,800, and the Modern Woodman matched $2,500 of those funds. Then Nathan Eberly, a member of the Brown Bag board and a Modern Woodman rep, surprised Brown Bag founder Amy Holland with a Hometown Hero award. “All this is because of what you do,” Eberly said. Her work inspired him to join the effort. The honor came with a $100 check for the charity of her choice, and there was little doubt what that would be. As usual Holland had little to say. She lets her actions speak for her. She got into action starting Brown Bag in early 2016. She learned that some of her fellow workers at Walmart were having trouble feeding themselves and their families some because they were out on medical leave. She took it upon herself to buy a few bags of food and deliver it to them. That has grown into a project that provides parcels of food to more than 300 people a month. Holland said that’s 60-70 families. The parcels have a value of about $60. The idea is to provide emergency food assistance to tide people over for five days, though often the parcels can last as long as a week, until they can seek assistance elsewhere. The food is given with minimal paperwork and questions. People are eligible for a parcel every six months, though that’s stretched in some extreme cases. And at the end of each week, clients can stop by for additional bread and sweet goods donated by the Panera restaurants in Bowling Green and Perrysburg and Jimmy John’s in BG. Peg Holland, the founder’s mother who is on the board, said she’s not surprised by her daughter’s actions. She remembers when Amy was in second grade at…

William Easterly touts the power of poor people, not experts, to address poverty

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News William Easterly believes that poor people are the key to ending poverty. He doesn’t have to look far to find a prime example in his father, Nathan William  Easterly, retired Bowling Green State University professor of biology. His father, Easterly said, came from southern West Virginia. He was 3 years old when his father died. It was the middle of the Great Depression. “It was really a heroic effort by him, his mother and his family for him to be able to climb out of that and become a professor at BGSU,” Easterly said “It was much easier for me as a professor’s kid to become a professor. That was the easy part. The hardest part was done by my father. And I’m enormously grateful to BGSU for making that possible for my father.” Easterly followed his father’s academic path, though, in economics, not biology. He chose the field because it brought together his passion for mathematics and social justice. “He got a PhD; I got a PhD,” the younger Easterly said. “He became a professor; I became a professor. He’s my role model. I really admire enormously what my father accomplished in his career. He had much further to go then I did.” His father was present Sunday, when BGSU bestowed an honorary doctorate on his son in recognition of accomplishments as one of the world’s most read, most cited and most recognized economists. Part of him still remains in Bowling Green. He stayed in town as long as he could until opportunities elsewhere forced him to leave. That included doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and then a job at the World Bank. That was his introduction to the way the West attempts to develop Africa. Coming from Bowling Green gave him insight into the “condescending, patronizing view of the Midwest held by many on the East Coast where he made his career. “I feel I’m an ambassador from Bowling Green. The greatness of America is the small towns, and Bowling Green is a wonderful to example for me. “It…

Mike Kuhlin puts a face on philanthropy in class taught by BGSU president

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The students in Matching Faces with Places are all in their first year at Bowling Green State University. The teacher for the class wants them to start thinking now of their life after graduation, when she hopes their BGSU education will be serving them well. At that point the professor, President Mary Ellen Mazey, hopes they will remember the university and give back. In the class, co-taught with Lisa Mattiace, the president’s chief of staff, the students meet models for that kind philanthropy. At a recent class they were seated in a second-floor classroom in the Michael and Sara Kuhlin Center, and their guest speaker was Mike Kuhlin, for whom the building was named. It was, he told the students, Mazey who insisted the building name use “Michael.” And it was Mazey’s inspiration that led to the donation that put his and his late wife’s name on the state-of-the-art home of the School of Media and Communications in what had been South Hall, widely considered one of the dumpiest buildings on campus. That was before a $24 million makeover. Kuhlin, a 1968 graduate in journalism, said for many years, he’d not had much contact with the university. After working for a few years for the university in the placement office and doing graduate work in higher education administration, he went to work for Ohio Bell, and continued with the company through a series of mergers. He ended up retiring as Ameritech’s director of corporate communications. Over many of those years, he told the students, he questioned the direction of his alma mater. As in business, Kuhlin said, “staying the same wasn’t good enough. That’s what this university did for a number of years.” That changed when Mazey took over the reins six years ago. He saw progress on addressing infrastructure issues. The university also started reaching out to alumni it had lost touch with. Kuhlin came back to the fold. “This happened because this place got better.” Mazey said when they met two years ago, she was amazed at how much he knew about…